We have been married 10+ years, and I still find myself fighting sometimes for my husband to talk to me after a disagreement. I will admit I nag him a little, just for him to open up. But it’s not just me doing the nagging! I know that nagging is like a poison in our communication, but at times I feel that is the only way I can get his attention when we have a disagreement. We don’t have a ton of arguments, but when it does happen, they are deep.
However, over time, I have learned that there are healthier and smarter ways to talk to my husband than nagging. I am in no way a relationship expert, but I have some tips that could help others when trying to communicate more effectively.
Be honest with your feelings and be willing to hear your spouse’s as well.
When we were first married, it seemed that one of us would turn into a people pleaser (me) during arguments. So, I would sometimes say whatever I felt would make the argument end and sweep my feelings under the rug. Well, let me tell you that did not get us anywhere! My feelings were being held captive, and my husband thought everything was just peachy. I knew that I had to be honest with how I was feeling so he could know the truth. Turns out he was doing the same thing. We were so concerned about the other one and making everything seem okay, that we did not see the damage that we were creating. Luckily, we were able to acknowledge this behavior and made an effort to make a change.
Be thankful for your spouse.
My husband works 12-14 hour days at least 4 days a week, and I know that he is beyond tired. But he comes home and helps with homework, bath time, and bedtime. I am so guilty of taking that for granted. So, I make sure to go out of my way to tell him, “Thank you for helping with homework tonight,” “I appreciate you picking her up from dance class,” or whatever the task is. We are all so busy with life, work, kids, and etc. that we forget to let each other know that we appreciate them.
Take a moment to cool off.
This is the BEST ADVICE I think I have ever received. Passionate conversations sometimes get loud. But knowing that yelling and tuning one another out is not effective, good communication comes with a cool head. I like to take a quick drive, or go and pray or read my Bible.
In a relationship, we have to learn respect and kindness. I will continue to be the person my husband fell in love with, but I’m always growing into a more mature version of that. My position as his wife is not to nag him but to love, cheer him on, and be his true other half. And it’s the same for him. But in order to be all those things we have to listen, and we have to talk to each other, not just at one another.